Photographs now adorn the stairs of Monica Lara’s Homestead home. Seeing those picture hanging on her wall, represents more than just memories for the single, working mother.
“It’s an accomplishment,” Lara said. “It represents my success as a parent, my success as a homeowner and my ability to get things done.”
Lara says up until a few weeks ago, the pictures were stacked up in her living room.
“I’m just not the girl that’s going to figure out how to do that,” she said. “So I was looking for someone to come out and help me.”
That’s when she found out about Homee, downloaded the app and signed up. She says help was at her door less than 30 minutes later.
“The Homee technician came in. I gave him a stack of photos and he just arranged it in whatever way he thought was best at my insistence,” she said. “He did a great job.”
From Handy to Takl, to Thumbtack and HomeAdvisor, Homee is part of a growing group of companies aimed at helping consumers like Lara get jobs done.
“We designed it to be as easy to use as Uber,” said Doug Schaedler, Homee’s co-founder.
The app offers four categories of service: handyman, plumbing, electrical and heating and air conditioning.
“Generally our work is below a permit level,” he said. “We say we want to be in and out of a project within 5 minutes to 4 hours.”
Schaedler said they do background checks on each provider and check to make sure they are properly licensed. They technicians are subcontractors but if something goes wrong with a job, Schaedler said the consumer would deal with Homee.
“It’s not a referral service,” he said. “We effectively own the transaction, so we’re responsible for it.”
There is no surcharge for an overnight or weekend call – at least not for now. But Homee does charge a dispatch fee ranging from $12 to $30. The actual work is billed by the minute.
“All the control is with the consumer, so they start and stop the timer,” Schaedler said. “They’re only paying for work done in the home. If the technician has to go off site, the time stops and you’re not paying for that time.”
Lara used Homee a second time to install shelving in her daughter’s closet. She said she plans to use it as a resource to reduce the size of her to-do list.
“For somebody who’s got a busy schedule, it matters, my time is worth something and so to have them here so quickly was a blessing,” she said.
No cash is exchanged during a Homee transaction. You use a credit card to sign up and that’s how you pay the technician for the work – through the app. The app also allows you to track the technicians using GPS, as they make their way to your home.
Here are some of the options available to consumers looking to tackle projects around the home: